great stuff

A list of small consumer items I'm currently thankful for:

  1. Merlin (who I read for his productivity insights even though I'm not a Mac person (nor a programmer) was right. This really IS the best timer ever.

    I've been using timers for years while grading, to keep me on track, and over the past few months I've been doing a lot of timed writing sessions, as well as a few "dashes" for really tedious things. I've spent many hours in the past trying out various PDA and computer timer applications, some of which were OK. Often, however, what I want to time isn't computer-related. Plus I'm very easily startled, so I don't like a timer that has a very loud beep. This is the answer to all of my timing needs: you can set it to flash a light, or vibrate, or ring a chime -- or any combination of those things. So it works nicely as a meditation timer, a work timer, and as a stopwatch too. Even has a magnet on the back if you were going to be using it in the kitchen (though it sticks nicely to my filing cabinet, too).
  2. I've been meaning to write a note about this little item for a couple months now.

    The computers that my university purchases have their front-panel USB ports placed at a very awkward angle -- I suppose for discreetness. But it means that it can be very difficult to connect a thumbdrive -- and my wider-bodied ones don't fit at all. Enter the amazing flex adapter which twists and turns any which way. So, no more cursing at the USB slot. I keep one at my desktop and one goes around with me for use in the library or classroom.
  3. As you might imagine, dog hair is always an issue in our house. This brush

    is OK on upholstered furniture, which is what I bought it for (found it on an aisle endcap at one of the big home/bath places). But it's really excellent for pre-cleaning dog hair off of the dog beds, couch pillows, etc, before putting them in the washer. I take the dog bed outside and scrape off tons of hair which then doesn't clog up the washer.

(Yeah, I know, it's a filler post. But it's a post. And maybe you'll think one of these things is useful, too.)